Cape Town - Proteas Women’s superstar Laura Wolvaardt has no ambitions just yet to captain the national team, although she admits she will be open to leadership positions in the future.
The Proteas have been hit by a string of high-profile retirements over the past 12 months, including former captains Dane van Niekerk and Mignon du Preez.
Fellow senior players Shabnim Ismail and Trisha Chetty have also called time on their international careers, which has left the Proteas with a vacuum of experience.
All-rounder Sune Luus took over the leadership reins from Van Niekerk - initially on a temporary basis - before being installed permanently until the the conclusion of the T20 World Cup in South Africa earlier this year.
Luus made history by becoming the first senior Proteas captain - male or female - to lead her team to a World Cup final. It was a prestigious achievement as the Proteas had to overcome numerous obstacles, with Luus shielding her team from the media pressure after the dropping of Van Niekerk due her failure to meet required fitness standards.
Unfortunately, Luus’ personal contribution with bat and ball was minimal during the T20 World Cup.
Equally, Luus endured a horrid tour of England last year where she averaged just 6.66 in the three one-day internationals.
Cricket SA director of cricket Enoch Nkwe was also non-committal after the T20 World Cup whether Luus would continue her captaincy role for the foreseeable future.
Due to the exodus of senior players recently, there are precious few natural leaders remaining in the national women’s team, particularly with star all-rounder Marizanne Kapp’s international future also approaching its sunset.
That leaves Wolvaardt, who is in the prime of her career at 24-years-old. She already has seven years of international experience, having debuted in 2016 as a teenager, and is also a regular in all global T20 franchise leagues where she shares dressing-rooms with the leading players in the world.
However, most importantly, her consistent performances ensures she is arguably the first name on the Proteas team sheet every game.
Wolvaardt has already shown that she can deal with the extra pressure as she has captained the Proteas before, when in the absence of the injured Luus, she led the Proteas to two historic victories on the 2021 tour of India. She struck a half-century in the second game.
The stylish top-order batter is a fiercely determined individual and model professional, which could potentially revolutionise the manner in which the Proteas team approach their fitness and conditioning in particular.
The Proteas have a bumper tour to Australia early next year, and it could possibly be the start of a new era under Wolvaardt’s leadership.
She is, however, not willing to throw her name in the hat just yet, but would be open to discussions in future.
“(Leadership) That’s not something I really thought about too much about growing up. I didn’t really feel like I knew enough about the game to be telling people what they should or should not be doing with theirs,” Wolvaardt said.
“Maybe it is something I will start looking at though as I become more a senior player within the team.
“I don’t think it is something I will do in the next couple of years because we have plenty of senior players in our squad at the moment.
“But it is something I would enjoy later on in my career.”